Parliamentary alliances

Gabon establishes a Parliamentary Alliance for Food Security and Nutrition

01/10/2019 - 

Libreville - October 1st, 2019 saw the creation of the Gabonese Parliamentary Alliance for Food Security and Nutrition (APGSAN), established by a group of deputies and senators from Gabon, in collaboration with the FAO Subregional Office for Central Africa and the United Nations system. The creation of this alliance followed a series of meetings organized by the FAO Subregional Office for Central Africa and the two chambers of the Parliament of Gabon, which highlighted the need for parliamentarians to contribute to the fight against hunger and malnutrition in their role as guarantors of the country's political and economic commitments.

The foundation of the alliance came at the end of a day of awareness raising for parliamentarians, held at the seat of the National Assembly in Libreville, which featured a session in the morning for deputies and one in the afternoon for senators. The day was an opportunity to inform parliamentarians about the state of food insecurity and nutrition in the world, in the sub-region and specifically in Gabon. A 2018 report published by FAO and UNECA on food security and nutrition indicates that out of the 821 million people worldwide who suffer from hunger, 257 million of these are in Africa and of this number, 42.7 million are in Central Africa.

Data from the 2018 global report on nutrition indicates that in Gabon, malnutrition exists in all its forms, with an 18% rate of chronic malnutrition among children of less than five years of age. 61% of pregnant women are anemic; 46.4% of women are overweight; 15% of adults are obese, and obesity rates are steadily growing among children.

A reminder of global, regional and sub-regional commitments featured at the center of discussions among parliamentarians. Participants addressed a range of topics, notably the Sustainable Development Goals, the Second International Conference on Nutrition, the challenge of Zero Hunger, United Nations Decade of Action on Nutrition (2016–2025), the declarations of Madrid, Maputo and Malabo, and the recent WHO strategic action plan to reduce the double burden of malnutrition.

Against this backdrop, the UN Resident Coordinator, Mr. Stephen Jackson (in his address to the National Assembly) and FAO Coordinator for Central Africa, Mr. Helder Muteia (in his address to the Senate) both recalled the important role that parliamentarians must play in terms of drafting laws, allocating budgets, and checking the actions of the government. In view of these responsibilities, there was a pressing need to create a Parliamentary Alliance for Food Security and Nutrition in Gabon.

Expressing the willingness of the United Nations system to support Gabon in this endeavor, the speakers emphasized that parliamentarians are an essential link when it comes to enshrining the importance of food security and nutrition in the constitution. Their participation allows the country to adopt laws at the national level that take into account international obligations.

Thus, the office of the Parliamentary Alliance created in Gabon, the Gabonese Parliamentary Alliance for Food Security and Nutrition (APGSAN) is composed as follows:

  • Honorary President: Venerable Lucie Milébou Aubusson (also known by her married name as Lucie Mboussou), President of the Senate
  • Acting President: Honorable Faustin Boukoubi, Speaker of the National Assembly
  • Secretary-General: Honorable Yves Fernand Manfoumbi
  • Deputy Secretary-General: Venerable Djibril Baba
  • General Reporter: Venerable Sebastien Mamboundou Mouyama
  • Deputy General Reporter: Honorable Serges Ndong Obame
  • Treasurer: Venerable Prisca Nlend
  • Assistant Treasurer: Honorable Brigitte Nene Dally
  • Auditor: Venerable Marcellin Agaya
  • Assistant Auditor: Honorable Jean Nono

The advisors of the Acting President are:

  • Honorable Gabriel Malonga Mouelet
  • Honorable Angélique Ngoma
  • Venerable Lambert Nkogho-Edzang

Gabon’s deputies and senators alike welcomed the meeting that helped to establish the Gabonese Parliamentary Alliance for Food Security and Nutrition. Honorable Raphaël Ngazouze, the sixth Vice-President of the National Assembly, and Venerable Auguste Roger Adande, second Vice-President of the Senate, who presided over the two respective meetings in lieu of the Presidents, were joined by the Honorable Faustin Boukoubi and the venerable Lucie Milébou Aubusson in expressing their willingness to act while seeking the support of the United Nations System.